Friday, April 13, 2012

"I Love You, Clint Eastwood!" as published in The Pickens County Progress on April 12, 2012

“I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him.”   Revelation 6:8   NIV 1984

I love you, Clint Eastwood!
I was a hyper little kid. Mom parked me in front of the TV, while she lay down with a cool rag on her forehead. It seemed harmless enough, leaving me with heroes like Andy Griffith and Carol Burnett. When the show was over, I went outside to play.
The year I got married, Pale Rider came out. It was my first time seeing Clint Eastwood command a big screen. It’s mesmerizing, waiting for a line to slip out of his mouth, as clues flicker across his other body parts.
(He could straddle a stool and read the Chinese phone book, and I’d watch with undivided attention).
So my new husband and I found something we could afford to do. We were too poor to own furniture, but we darn sure had a TV/VCR. We camped out on the rug watching all of Clint’s movies.
Pale Rider is a classic. I like the Bible-verse reference. His character is rich and diverse; he’s a reformed gunslinger, turned preacher. And he saves the good people from the bad ones. The grateful heroine asks: “Who are you? Who are you … really?” He answers, “Well, it doesn’t really matter, does it?” and rides off into Idaho’s Sawtooth National Park.
Nobody can fence him in. The “offbeat hero” has a lesson: It doesn’t matter who you are. It’s what you do that counts. And Clint always, always does the right thing.
That electronic babysitter is still around. We know where our kids aren’t. They aren’t playing in real life. They’re pale little rug rats, holed up indoors, wired to unsavory heroes.
I say, run them outside … right smack dab into the spores and pollen. Better still, take them to town. Maybe you’ll see Clint, ordering a sarsaparilla at Quick Burger. Rumor has it, he’s filming a movie in Jasper this week. But you probably won’t see him, if he sees you first.
At least the kids will absorb some Vitamin D.

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